🔼The name Lebaoth: Summary
- From a plural of the noun לבי (lebi), lioness.
🔼The name Lebaoth in the Bible
The name Lebaoth occurs only once in the Bible. It's the name of a city that came to be situated in the territory allotted the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:32). The tribe of Simeon was assigned a number of cities in Judah to occupy, among which Beth-lebaoth (Joshua 19:6). Since a city named Beth-lebaoth isn't listed among the cities of Judah, scholars generally assume that Beth-lebaoth is the same as Lebaoth.
The Chronicler also lists the towns of Simeon but changes the names slightly for reasons we can now only guess at. No Lebaoth or Beth-lebaoth is mentioned in Chronicles but we do find a Beth-biri, which is probably again the same city.
🔼Etymology of the name Lebaoth
The name Lebaoth is a feminine plural of the noun לבי (lebi), meaning lioness:
It's not known what the unused verb לבא (lb') might have meant, but a good bet would be: to be courageous (after the noun לב, leb, heart or courage).
More generally, our verb surely had to do with being lion-like: nouns לבי (lebi), לביא (lebiya'), and לביא (labi') all mean lion or lioness.
The name Lebaoth means Lionesses.